Arena – Summer 2020
In This Issue
- President’s Report – Summer 2020 – Phillip Marriott, Adelaide, SA
- 2021 Annual Conference in Sydney – Sydney Conference Committee
- 2020 Annual Conference Report – NZ Conference Committee
- Language Matters – Marion Steward, NZ
- Post Covid 19 Spirituality – Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa, NZ
- A Bit of History – Rita Schaad, NSW
- Ancient Orvonton, and a Young Cosmic Web – Nigel Nunn, ACT
- Universal Ethics – Concepts from The Urantia Book – Neil Francey, QLD
- Think Alike – Necessary or Unnecessary? – Cecilia Ann Bendall, TAS
- The Mind Arena of Choice – Chris Moseley, England
- Amarantos – Robert Venosa
- About ANZURA – Anzura Admin
- About the Arena Newsletter – Anzura Admin
- The UB Endeavour – Anzura Admin
- Study Group Contacts – Anzura Admin
Phillip Marriott, Adelaide, SA Dear Friends and Readers of The Urantia Book,
Firstly, I would like to acknowledge and recognise the original and traditional custodians of this planet, The United Midwayers.
This is my first Arena report as President of ANZURA. Our AGM was held virtually via Zoom on 21 November 2020 and elections were held for the positions of President and Secretary. Graeme Chapman was elected for a second term as Secretary, and I was elected as President. Thank you to our members for your confidence, and thank you to my predecessor, Julian McGarry who served us well as our former President. Julian continues to serve the revelation in many different ways.
As we know, ANZURA’s annual conference for 2020 was planned to be held in New Zealand. However, it was held virtually via Zoom because of the Covid-19 restrictions. Thank you to the New Zealand team who ably adapted to the situation and stepped up to organise an engaging six-hour virtual conference. (You will find several articles of presentations given at that conference in this issue of the Arena.)
This year’s conference is being planned to go ahead as a face-to-face event (Covid willing of course). A venue has been booked in Pymble, Sydney for 1—4 October 2021. See the article in this issue for more information.
Sydney Conference Committee
October 1 – 4, 2021
The Goodness of Love – a Keystone to Reality
We’re pleased to announce that the 2021 ANZURA Annual Conference is being planned to go ahead as an in-person conference 1 – 4 October this year at the Peter Canisius House in Pymble, Sydney
Things are looking good for both Australia and New Zealand right now in terms of Covid-19 so with that, and the impending rollout of vaccines we have reason to be hopeful. (If things change, we will obviously keep you posted and adapt to the situation by meeting via a Zoom conference if need be like we did in 2020.)
Peter Canisius House is a Retreat Centre located on a beautiful five-acre site in Pymble on Sydney’s North Shore. The site was established by the Order of the Society of Jesus
which is better known as the Jesuits. It has all the conveniences and style to make it a comfortable and peaceful environment.
Mark your calendars and watch this space for more information.
NZ Conference Committee
Last year’s 2020 ANZURA conference, hosted by our New Zealand team was held as a virtual Zoom conference on 10th October. For all the reasons we’re only too familiar with by now, the theme was aptly titled Post COVID Spiritual Life. This was a “first” for ANZURA and while the virtual format is not as good as our face-to-face conferences, it was still wonderful to be with everyone virtually for a good six hours of Urantia Book presentations and discussions.
Ian Campbell hosted and introduced the conference and Neville Twist began with a prayer and dedication. Here is list of the presenters and topics discussed:
The conference was recorded, and the presentations will eventually be uploaded to YouTube. (Be patient for that. We will announce when they are available.) You will also find a few of the presentations as articles in this issue of the Arena.
- Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa – Lockdown’s Bright Side
- Julian McGarry – The Personal and Collective Lessons We Can Learn from COVID-19
- Marion Steward – Language Matters
- Rita Schaad – A Tour of the New ANZURA Website
- Susan Hemmingsen – Truth in Relation to Covid-19
- Hara Davis – A Brief Review of Hara’s Beautiful Study Aids
The New Zealanders have reserved the original conference venue for 2022 so stay tuned for information on that one.
Marion Steward, NZ
A Reflection on ‘Insensitive’ Words in The Urantia Book
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
The focus of this article is on language – and specifically on what I am calling ‘insensitive’ language. This labelling is, by definition, subjective and words that might offend one person do not have the same effect on another. This subjectivity is part of what I want to explore in this article. I was motivated to prepare this article by observing my reaction in a study group a few months ago to particular words, when I realised that these words were triggering a somewhat emotional and negative response in me, and I found myself querying the other people in the group, about what exactly these words meant in today’s world. To my surprise, I found that I was the only person having this response.
This set me to thinking about other words in The Urantia Book that triggered a similar response in me, why I felt they were inappropriate in modern society, why my fellow readers did not have the same response, and what that might mean to those of us who were keen on sharing the ideas in The Urantia Book with others.
Norman Weiss and Diana Whakapapa, NZ(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA conference)
COVID 19 has put the entire world through a period of great challenge. One of the reasons a virus like this is such a challenge is because it affects peoples’ lives in a very mortal sense. The threat of dying suddenly raises deep anxiety in people. They think, am I ready? Am I prepared? What about those I leave behind? Have I done enough to earn my place in the ascension scheme? While others are more worried about their government placing limiting sanctions on their freedom. There is also great concern about how the extended lockdowns have impacted our economic life.
In short, this COVID 19 episode has threatened modern society with the uncertainties of life. The Urantia Book tells us that, All creature life is beset by certain inevitabilities. (3:5.5) We cannot avoid the vicissitudes of existence, nor the uncertainties of life.
We live in an imperfect world and sometimes bad things happen but The Urantia Book tells us that these uncertainties and vicissitudes provide us mortals with the opportunities to develop qualities such as, courage, hope, faith, idealism, loyalty and unselfishness. Challenging times such as these can often ripen in us the “Fruits of the Spirit.” So, I would like you to consider that, because of COVID 19, we have the possibility of implementing changes for a better future once all this has passed.
Rita Schaad, NSW
Urantia Activities in Australia and New Zealand
(Presented at the October 2020 online ANZURA Conference)
Much on ANZURA’s website – like other websites – is an archive, and I hope you will agree, a very valuable resource – both for aiding in study and for keeping our memories alive.
Good memories can be energizing especially in these times of turmoil. They can bring to the fore those values we desperately need to hang on to if we want – for us and the next generations – to get safely through “the high seas of constant change” and end up in a safe harbor once more.
Looking through those early issues of the Six-O-Six newsletters gave me an insight into the amount of effort that was made and leadership that was shown by those early reader/believers of The Urantia Book. They have extended the way they learned to discuss and fight for a standard we now accept as a given.
- It all started with some people – scattered hither and yonder across Australia and New Zealand.
- Then there came the first Newsletter – aptly named “Six-O-Six” – spearheaded by Neil Francey and amongst others, Ian Esmore (at a meeting in the Macedon ranges in Victoria I believe).
- And then more meetings and conferences, where action plans were devised and most importantly, relationships were sealed.
Nigel Nunn, ACT
The Urantia Book presents a cosmology that stirs the soul: a central and perfect universe, fringed by spacetime shallows in which finaliters are born; finaliters, destined to launch from this cosmic continental shelf into oceanic depths, seeding the light and life of personality throughout nested levels of outer space.
Soul stirring indeed! A cosmology pervaded by meaning and value, eclipsing in its scope our finest Sci-fi. What a relief from the consensus materialist models that native science has managed to evolve.
However, right after having thus stirred our souls, these authors pour cold water over our expectations. From Paper 101 section 4:
…within a few short years many of our statements regarding the physical sciences will stand in need of revision… [Paper 101:4.2, page 1109.3]
“Will stand in need of revision”. When compared with current consensus cosmology, of a young universe beginning with a hot Big Bang, the cosmology of The Urantia Book is so unorthodox, and so apparently wrong, that some students of these papers now see this cosmology as little more than decoration for the book’s more important themes: its spiritual and philosophical revelations. But take another look at those “Limitations of Revelation” discussed in Paper 101. Immediately after stating that, with regard to scientific facts they were limited in what could reveal, they go on to list a number of things they were permitted to do. The first of these is especially interesting. Again, from Paper 101 section 4:
Neil Francey, QLDIn this collection of short papers, the study of ethics is taken to a universal level. They apply to the highest forms of behavior relative to progress for each of us in the realms ahead. They go beyond the application of ethics at the mortal level of functioning where they are the basis of our way of life.
By selecting appropriate quotations from The Urantia Book and by directing study to a particular topic, an aspect of the mortal and spiritual natures of man can be addressed. By studying carefully chosen excerpts, related new ideas and insights can be formulated. New understandings can be generated.
Spiritual ethics, post-mortal ethics, universally effect mortal life in transforming ways for society and for the individual. The highest ethics, as truth, impact on personal and group habits and behaviors. And as such, they contribute to the mores, and potentially usher in elevated levels of civil society.
Cecilia Ann Bendall, TASOne of the few topics that we are told led to Jesus being stirred within his spirit was the inference that we should all see alike. When asked by James Zebedee Master, how shall we learn to see alike and thereby enjoy more harmony among ourselves? (141:5.1) Jesus replied:
“James, James, when did I teach you that you should all see alike? I have come into the world to proclaim spiritual liberty to the end that mortals may be empowered to live individual lives of originality and freedom before God. I do not desire that social harmony and fraternal peace shall be purchased by the sacrifice of free personality and spiritual originality. What I require of you, my apostles, is spirit unity—and that you can experience in the joy of your united dedication to the wholehearted doing of the will of my Father in heaven. You do not have to see alike or feel alike or even think alike in order spiritually to be alike. Spiritual unity is derived from the consciousness that each of you is indwelt, and increasingly dominated, by the spirit gift of the heavenly Father. Your apostolic harmony must grow out of the fact that the spirit hope of each of you is identical in origin, nature, and destiny.
Chris Moseley, England
Mining the Archives
(Editor’s Note: Mining the Archives is a collection of articles that have been published in various newsletters over the years and have been lying buried in the archives. A team of volunteers have been “mining the archives” for the gems, so now we can bring them into the light of day to share using modern-day technology. This one is from the Arena Newsletter, Autumn 1999)
The concept of ‘Mind’ in itself, in the abstract, unlimited sense of the word, does not imply free will, but the individual mind, mortal mind, has freewill as an inseparable, defining component. In the passage on p.1216 entitled The Mind Arena of Choice, there is a striking sentence that almost expresses the kernel of the whole human condition:
Human consciousness rests gently upon the electrochemical mechanism below and delicately touches the spirit-morontia energy system above. [Paper 111:1.5, page 1216.6]
Viewed in these terms, what a finely-tuned creature a human being seems; what a mysterious fragility everyday existence has; and what grave responsibilities are implied for all the choices we make!
Whether undifferentiated, in the sense of infinite or absolute mind, or finite, acting through the ministry of the adjutant mind spirits, all Mind can be ‘superimposed upon energy.’ (p.102) in other words, mind can directionize energies through its own choices. Mind adds meaning to energy.
Robert Venosa(Robert Venosa (1936 -2011) was an artist and also a Urantia Book reader who lived and worked in Boulder, US and in Spain. This poem was taken from his book, Noospheres 1991)
An eternal Light from the infinite source
An idea in motion on an infinite course
Guided by love and powered by light,
One spark erupts illumining the night.
Searching for form in unlimited space
The spark seeks reflection to decide on a face
Expanding itself it shatters apart
And a mirror is born for duality’s start.
The original thought reproduces itself
Releasing the fetters of solitude self.
Spinning in motion in ecstatic embrace
A father of time, a mother of space
In the womb of a wish, fulfilling the need
An embryo forms – the trinity seed.
A fetus of hope, the urge of creation,
A promise of thought in cosmic gestation.
The spirit is born taking nest in the soul
To guide all desire to its infinite goal.
A network of light spirals out and expands
Matter and mind in an energy dance
Sparks turn to atoms and atoms embrace
Expression unfolds saturating all space
Atoms to suns, and suns in their might
Give birth to the worlds and feed them with light.
The cradle is set for love’s gesture supreme;
The god-child appears fulfilling the dream.
From the seed of a thought and an infinite plan
Starting with hope and ending with man
The universe spreads in eternal desire
That in love it return to the heart of its sire.
Parasamgate, Artist Robert Venosa
The Australia and New Zealand Urantia Association (ANZURA) is made up of individuals who desire to assist in fostering the study of The Urantia Book and the dissemination of its teachings throughout Australia and New Zealand. It seeks to do this by providing interactive learning environments in which students may deepen and broaden their knowledge of the book and enjoy the interaction and exchange of ideas with fellow students.
It is our intention not to encumber our work for the spreading of The Urantia Book and its teachings with church, temple, or other spiritual institutions. Our members have come to recognise the significance of the book and the integrated beauty of its supernal teachings which encourage us to develop our own philosophy through study, experience, decisions, and actions. Nevertheless, we hold the view, and recognise that collectively there are many valuable projects and programs we can undertake together to achieve our goals.
Anzura AdminThe Arena newsletter keeps students of The Urantia Book throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific in touch with Urantia related news, activities and events from our local region as well as from the global Urantia Book reader community. It also provides interesting articles written by readers on a wide range of subjects from the book which we hope may be helpful in assisting with your studies.
The Arena is published by ANZURA two to three times a year and is dedicated to the promotion of goodwill and understanding among readers of The Urantia Book. Articles and editorial contributions that relate to The Urantia Book and its teachings are welcome from readers all over the world.
If you would like to receive the Arena or submit an article, please send us an email at anzura.urantia @ gmail.com
To view current and past issues of the Arena click here or on the image above.
Anzura AdminANZURA’s mission is to foster the in-depth study of The Urantia Book and to disseminate its teachings.
The UB Endeavour is a fundraising initiative to raise funds for ANZURA to help us spread The Urantia Book and its teachings throughout the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific region.
Here are some of our programs designed to achieve these objectives:
Book Distribution – Sowing Seeds
We hold a small inventory of Urantia Books and other associated material such as study aids and secondary works that are available to readers for dissemination projects. We sponsor a gift-book program where books are donated to libraries and relevant learning centres as well as study groups and individuals who wish to assist in the book-seeding program.
Anzura AdminANZURA maintains a contact list for study group hosts.
Not all of these hosts actually run a regular study group but all of them are willing to host one for anyone who would like to meet.
Some study groups include virtual participation via Zoom if you cannot meet face-to-face.
You can view the list of contacts on the website at: https://anzura.urantia-association.org/find-study-groups